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Greenpeace Pranks Belgian Grand Prix Podium With Remote Controlled Banners (VIDEO)

28/08/2013 11:41 BST | Updated 28/08/2013 11:42 BST

Greenpeace found the perfect way to subtly annoy a major corporation and get their point across at this year's Belgian Grand Prix, by pulling a prank on the podium.

As oblivious drivers stood on the stage, the environmental activists – who were protesting against Arctic oil drilling – raised two remotely controlled electronic banners that featured their SaveTheArctic.org cause.

One man took to the stage to frantically tear down the banner, but another one slowly popped up beside him.

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The drivers seemed oblivious to the subtle protest happening in front of them

According to the video, the pranksters had managed to sneak the banners in prior to the race.

The group said it cost less than €140 (£120) to pull off what it described as a “priceless” hijacking of the Shell-sponsored ceremony.

The video of the hijack has since been removed by YouTube following a "copyright" complaint, the group said.

Blasting the move in an online statement, the activists said they would not be silenced by a corporation.

"Shell may want to note that in court case after court case, our legal right to free speech has triumphed every single time it's been tested against a corporate giant who thinks they can silence criticism with trademark law," a statement read.

"This is another example of why we must continue to defend our rights to free expression on the internet over the intellectual property rights of would-be corporate censors."

Before being pulled, the Formula 1 video had earned nearly a quarter of a million views in just over 36 hours, the group said.

Earlier at the Grand Prix event, two paragliders from the environmental group flew over the circuit at Spa-Francorchamps, displaying a banner criticising Shell's operations.

Then a second group of activists climbed the main grandstand overlooking the starting grid and hung down a banner emblazoned "Arctic oil? Shell no!"

More Greenpeace protesters then unveiled another banner above the winner's podium, which read "Congratulations! Now help us save the Arctic!"